Natural Moral Law :scales: (Definitions :book: (Eudaimonia: :smiley…
Natural Moral Law :scales:
: :smiley:Ultimate happiness through union with God. Achieved by doing good and avoiding evil.
: :speech_balloon:The ultimate, direct, self-communication with God to humanity.
: :thinking_face: A type of ethics that seeks to understand the nature of ethical properties.
: :cloud: Gods involvement in in guiding all creating things to their proper end/ telos.
: the person making the ethical condition.
: :baby::skin-tone-2: God has given all humans the ability to discern what is right from wrong.
The Origins of Natural Moral Law
Aristotle said in the Nicomachean ethics that what is natural applies to absolutely everybody -you don't need to receive it or learn it. Each human is born with 'normal' instincts that don't change.
Each act is either good or bad and can either contribute or deter us from the telos (the end) that all human actions should aim for, which is eudaimonia /happiness in completion and perfection.
Natural moral law is an ancient theory developed in the 13th century by Thomas Aquinas, written in
. His version has become the standard Catholic approach to moral decision making.
Natural moral law combines Aristotelian eudaimoniasm with Christian Teachings.
What did Aquinas Believe?
Aquinas believed in a 'God given ability to reason' what means that God has given humans the ability to know the difference between what is right and what is wrong. :cloud:
Since God is 'changeless and consistent' /immutable (never changing), his moral laws cannot change and God can't do anything that contradicts these moral laws.
God is also good which means that He cannot do anything good that contradicts these moral laws. It also means that his creation is good.
Your 'God given reason' leads to your ideal way of being human. It is natural for us to want to reproduce or live in an ordered society, humans are inclined to know the truth about God.
We can never achieve final happiness in this life because final happiness, to him, was beatitude (union with God) which we can only achieve through our 'God given ability to reason'. :smiley:
For Aquinas a law is 'a rule or measure of human acts, whereby a person is induced to act or is restrained from acting.
Every law is derived from the 'eternal law' given to humans by God. And to Aquinas, natural law is an extension to eternal law.
Aquinas believed that human nature was essentially good as natural law is within everyone and therefore humans naturally strive towards perfection, and can never knowingly peruse evil. :+1:A human is good or bad depending on
Aquinas' golden rule is to do good and avoid evil.
Plato said in Nicomechean Ethics that what is natural applies to everybody, you don't need to be taught it. These natural rules do not change.
Aquinas' four-fold division of law are
comes form Gods nature, and since He is the creator, nature is a 'blueprint of the mind of God'.
are Gods laws revealed in Bible, Church and special revelation (eg 10 commandments),
Natural Moral Law
which humans work out through their reason and
, a legal system formulated using NML.
Aquinas Five Primary Precepts
1.Worship God 2.Ordered Society 3. Reproduce 4. Learning 5. Defence of the innocence and self preservation.
These are then split up into
:pray: go to church, pray, children should worship God, people should remember the Sabbath days.
:silhouettes: democratic government, obey the laws (don't steal, no divorce or adultery, capital punishments.
don't practice homosexuality, no contraception, no sex outside marriage, no divorce or genetic engineering.
:school_satchel:have children and send them to school, no divorce or single parent families, don't go against divine law of the church (bible).
Defence of the innocence and self preservation
:bomb: do not murder, no abortion or contraception, no suicide or euthanasia, go to war to protect the innocence.
These precepts are from which all reasoning comes from, split up onto secondary precepts.
How to avoid evil in natural moral law
Real and apparent goods
: Humans desire to be good but they can confuse what seems good to what is actually good. e.g. adultery.
Aquinas believe that real goods can be reached if you practice the
four cardinal virtues
which are Prudence, Justice, Fortitude and Temperance. He then added
three theological virtues
which are gifts from God's grace, taken from 1 Corinthians.
"These three remain: Faith, Hope and Love" 1 Corinthians.
Aquinas believe it is morally good to let our virtues flourish within us.
The principle of double effect
The act must be good or neutral and a good effect cannot be brought about by a bad action -the intention must be good. Therefore any good action must have a good intention, a bad action cannot bring about good.
:!:If you do a bad thing for a good reason it is always wrong and goes against human reason. :!:
It ensures you have good intentions and helps us with deontalogical problems.
This could be abused to explain actions that are actually very wrong, its unclear about whats good or bad, many innocent people could be hurt as a result and how can one judge the intention form the action?
are good acts just done with the wrong/bad intention, for example giving to charity to impress your friends.
are good actions with a good intention.
Strengths and weaknesses
guidelines and boundaries are helpful and make decision making in moral situations much easier.
Many people agree that morality is intrinsically right or wrong NOT just preference.
Distinction between real and apparent goods show that humans easily get confused between right or wrong.
The virtues encourage character development
Double effect allows exceptions.
Goes against human individuality and opinion must all human act in one way only?
animals are less important than humans.
Secondary precepts can lead to bad outcomes, like the spread of HIV
Doesn't account into personal situations.
There are no intrinsically evil acts.
The value of the act must outweigh the value of the dis-value
, and the intention of the moral agent must be taken into account.
the strengths are that it makes sense in certain situations and the just war theory proves that it works.
The magisterium denies it because there is no intrinsic evil, it may be taken out of context and it is not easy to make an accurate prediction of the outcome.
These were strict manuals that show how to solve moral issues originally made for trainee priests by Jesuits. You don't need your reason and it is about
(based on caused) and is concerned only with rules not with justice.
God is changless and consistent